2010-04-10 / News

Township gets grant to reconstruct Hupp Road

By Charles Prince

JACKSONTOWN – The third try proved be the charm for Licking Township Trustees’ request for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to reconstruct Hupp Road.

Trustee Dave Miller announced Monday night that the estimated $400,000 project has been recommended for OPWC funding. The township’s share will be about $80,000. Hupp runs east from Ohio 13 to Fairmount Road.

The township’s second project – reconstructing Amherst Drive in Harbor Hills – wasn’t funded for the third time. Miller said they were encouraged to reapply for a supplementary round. He will submit the revised application by the April 15 deadline.

In other business Monday night, trustees had a brief, but heated at times discussion about health insurance benefits. President Joe Hart had asked Miller – who heads the county township association – whether other townships expected plan participants to pay a deductible. Licking Township’s policy with Anthem has a $2,000 deductible, but the township pays the deductible for everyone on the plan including spouses.

“Do you feel you should have a deductible?” Hart asked Miller and Trustee Ron Acord. “Almost everybody has a deductible before the insurance takes over.”

“I think it is part of the package,” Miller responded. “Finally I have a job with good insurance.” He added that the township’s cost for health insurance has come down each year he’s been in office.

The discussion became heated when Miller said Hart had enjoyed good benefits for years as a Rockwell manager, while he (Miller) had to pay for his own benefits as a self-employed barber. Hart said their separate career choices aren’t relevant. “What is relevant here is how much taxpayers should pay for insurance.” Hart takes the reimbursement option which costs the township about $500 a month. That pays the his cost for his retiree benefits from Rockwell, but he still pays a deductible on that plan. Miller and his wife are covered under the township plan. Acord is now covered by Medicare but plans to add his wife to the township plan. Acord sided with Miller, favoring 100 percent coverage.

“I think $500 should be paid by the people we insure,” Hart said. Miller moved and Acord seconded a motion to approve a renewal with Anthem that would continue to reimburse plan participants for any out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and co-pays. Hart moved to amend the motion by requiring each person covered to be responsible for a $500 deductible. His motion failed for a lack of a second. Miller’s original motion was approved 2-1 with Hart voting “no.”

Millers said the township will again be part of the county-wide clean-up that is set for April 16- 18. The township effort will be limited to township roads, with jail inmates cleaning up along county and state roads. Millers asked residents on township roads to clean up 100 yards in each direction of their home. Gloves and garbage bags are available. Call Miller at 323-3550 and leave a message to get gloves and bags. Bags should be left along the roads so they can be picked up on Monday, April 19.

Licking Trails resident Jonathan Lynch asked trustees to slow down traffic on the road. A paving and widening project in 2002 or 2003 as touted as a safety improvement, Lynch said, but now the former chip & seal road is a mile run. “Everyone is flying down the road,” he added. Traffic dramatically increases if there is an accident or closure on Ohio 13 near Dawes. He requested a fair and safe speed limit, and asked trustees to erect some “Children Playing” signs. Miller said the signs will be installed this week, but setting a speed limit below 55 mph will likely require ODOT approval. “We need to find out what we legally can do,” Hart said.

During their review of bills to be paid, Hart asked that a nearly $1,500 check for the replacement of some gutters be held. He said the contract requires five inches gutters and he believes four inch gutters were installed. Acord and Miller agreed. Acord handled the contract and will discuss it with the contractor.

Acord presented the monthly fire report since Fire Chief Mike Wilson was attending a Franklin Township Trustees’ meeting. Licking Township provides EMS/ fire protection to the township under contract. The fire company made 56 runs in March – 48 EMS, six fire and two dive team. Yearto date runs total 245.

Trustees’ next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 19 at the Licking Township Fire Company Station #3 on Jacksontown Road (Ohio 13).

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